Oscars: no host, no problem

James Barberis, Managing Editor

BREAKING NEWS: Highway robbery at the Academy Awards!

On Sunday Feb. 24, the Best Picture Oscar was stolen by the film Green Book, one of the least exciting or ambitious movies out of this year’s nominees. Green Book, also accused of stealing the Best Original Screenplay award, has not been the most well-received film this award season, after being shrouded in controversy following criticisms regarding its misinterpretation of racism during the 1960s. Despite the backlash, Green Book was granted Oscar night’s biggest award, beating out top contenders and crowd-pleasers, Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born.

The rest of the longer than three-hour broadcast was received much better than its conclusion with the lack of a proper host being one of the show’s most redeeming elements. The Oscars had originally hired comedian Kevin Hart to lead in the prestigious role of host but amidst more public retaliation concerning homophobic tweets from Hart resulting in his exit from the job, the telecast decided to air the Oscars hostless on only the second occasion in history. This change was welcome by a large portion of Oscar viewers, claiming the absence made for a quickly-paced, exciting show.

The Oscars statues were handed out to a total of 16 films. The diverse range of movies included The Favourite, a “dramedy” centered around Queen Anne of Great Britain and her two right-hand ladies, which took home the Best Actress award for Olivia Colman, and Roma, a Mexican black-and-white family drama that won three Oscars, with one of them being the distinguished Best Director prize for Alfonso Cuaron’s masterful direction.

The most awards of the evening went to Bohemian Rhapsody, a massive box office success chronicling the life and career of the rock band Queen, which earned the award for Best Actor due to Rami Malek’s outstanding performance as frontman Freddie Mercury.

The Academy’s plan of incorporating more mainstream films into this year’s pool of contenders seemed to work as the broadcast received 29.6 million viewers, up 3.1 million from last year’s record-low numbers. In addition, the Oscars showcased musical performances, with a charismatic and energizing opening from Queen and Adam Lambert as well as a sincere, sultry duet from Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, who sang the Best Original Song winner, “Shallow.” Their chemistry was undoubtedly one of the most talked-about moments of the show, as fans conjured up theories about their off-stage relationship.

Overall, the 2019 Oscars brought audiences an entertaining event full of memorable moments, despite the occasional misstep when it comes to the winners of the awards. Next year’s Oscars will hopefully incorporate more deserving, lesser-known films rather than just pandering to an audience with the inclusion of blockbusters and box office smashes.